Facebook launches $10m community leader awards

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Updated 09 February 2018
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Facebook launches $10m community leader awards

LONDON: Facebook has launched a community leadership program that will award $10 million in total to more than 100 people who have successfully built groups on the social network as part of its push to create “meaningful” interactions.
The initiative, announced at a Facebook Communities Summit in London, will give five people with a track record in creating groups up to $1 million to fund a project, Facebook’s Jennifer Dulski said.
Another 100 leaders from around the world will receive up to $50,000 each, she said in an interview.
“We are looking for communities that provide meaning to the people that are in them, we are looking for initiatives that drive positive impact, and we are looking for communities that have both online and offline components,” said Dulski, Facebook’s head of groups and community.
Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said last June that the company’s new mission was “to bring the world closer together,” and he set a goal of helping one billion people join “meaningful communities” built around hobbies, neighbors, churches, pets and the like.
The focus on groups came after the social network, which has 1.4 billion daily active users, had been criticized for its role in the distribution of so-called fake news.
Facebook and other Internet groups such as Google’s YouTube and Twitter have also faced pressure from the EU and European governments to do more to stem the proliferation of extremist content on their platforms.
The company’s top European executive, Nicola Mendelsohn, said in December that the number of people working on safety on the platform would double to 20,000 by the end of 2018, including more engineers in London. The contest is open to Facebook community leaders worldwide, with the winners chosen by a panel of independent experts and Facebook employees, Dulski said.


‘Key issues unresolved,’ UN chief warns climate talks

Updated 12 December 2018
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‘Key issues unresolved,’ UN chief warns climate talks

KATOWICE, Poland: “Key political issues” deadlocking UN climate talks “remain unresolved,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday after an unscheduled stop at the troubled negotiations in Poland.
The fight against climate change is a “matter of life and death today,” he told ministers and delegates at the 195-nation UN forum tasked with beating back the threat of global warming, barely 48 hours before the meet in the coal town of Katowice was set to adjourn.
The two-week talks are tasked with breathing life into the 2015 Paris Agreement, which vows to cap global warming at “well under” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to poor countries already feeling the sting of deadly storms, heatwaves and droughts made worse by climate change.
But efforts to elaborate a “rule book” for the Paris pact and to boost the carbon-cutting pledges of all nations have run aground, even as a barrage of scientific reports have warned that only immediate and radical measures can avert catastrophic climate impacts.
“The eyes of the world are upon us,” said Guterres, who had not planned to return to the talks after addressing the opening plenary 10 days ago.
“To waste this opportunity would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change,” he said.
“It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.”
A major report called for by the UN climate body concluded in October that Earth’s rise in temperature must be capped even lower — at 1.5C — to avoid the danger of runaway warming.
But several countries at the talks, led by the United States and Saudi Arabia, have blocked efforts to endorse the report, which many developing countries see as essential.
“The IPCC report on 1.5C is the basis for all future action, on what we need to do,” Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu told AFP.
Endorsing the report’s findings at the conclusion of the UN forum “is a red line issue for us.”